5 Species That Are Lost Forever
The Pyrenean Ibex is one of two subspecies of Spanish Ibex, extinct as of January 2000.
The last natural Pyrenean Ibex was female called Celia, she was found dead, next to a fallen tree, on the 6th of January 2000.
The reason for the extinction of the Pyrenean Ibex is unknown, however, there have been some hypotheses regarding their extinction. Some conservationists blame the Spanish government for failing to act in time to save the species. Other reasons could include the Pyrenean Ibex's inability to compete with other species for food, poaching and disease.
The Zanzibar Leopard is an elusive and possibly extinct subspecies of leopard, endemic to Unguja Islands in Zanzibar, Tanzania. I say possibly extinct because there have been occasional, unconfirmed sightings of the leopards by the Zanzibari locals. In the 20th century there was increasing conflict between humans and leopards. The local people believed that the Zanzibar Leopards were kept by witches, this subsequently led to their demonization. The Zanzibar Leopards were then hunted in determined and successful attempts to exterminate them.
In the mid 1990s there were some efforts to conserve the leopards, however, wildlife researchers concluded that there was very little prospect for the Leopard's long-term survival.
West African Black Rhinoceros
The West African Black Rhinoceros is a subspecies of the Black Rhino, declared extinct by the International Union For Conservation Of Nature in 2011. Once, the species was widespread in the savanna of Central-West Africa but due to poaching, especially in the early 20th century, their numbers rapidly declined.
The main reason that the West African Black Rhinoceros were poached was because their horns were believed by some people in China and Yemen to possess aphrodisiacal powers.
The Javan Tiger is a tiger subspecies that inhabited the Indonesian island of Java until the mid-1970s, when it was declared extinct.
In the early 20th century, 28 million people lived on the island of Java. The annual production of rice on the island was insufficient to meet the demand of the rapidly increasing human population. More and more land was cut down to cultivate more rice and within 15 years, 150% more of Java's land was cleared for this purpose. The natural forest once covered 28% of the island, this dropped down to 8% in 37 years.
Because of this majorly human-dominated landscape the decline of the Javan Tiger was intensified by different things, such as:
- The deforestation and destruction of the Tigers habitat meant that them and their prey were often poisoned.
- During the period of civil disorder, armed groups retreated to reserves, where the remaining tigers were killed.
The Golden Toad, once abundant in a small region of tropical forests in Costa Rica, was declared extinct by the Union For Conservation Of Nature in May 1989.
Its sudden extinction was most likely caused by pollution, global warming, fungal skin infections and extensive habitat loss.
In the Spring of 1987, an American Biologist went to visit the forests that were home to the Golden Toad, and counted 1500 of them. The temperature was unusually warm and dry and most of the pools, where they were living/breeding, had evaporated before the tadpoles in them had time to mature.
The next year, at the same place, only one male toad was spotted and a few miles away, at a different site, only 7 males and 2 females were spotted.
The year after that, the last sighting of one Golden Toad occurred.